Irish Centre for High End Computing

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) aims to provide High-Performance Computing (HPC) resources principally for researchers in third-level institutions. A skilled team of system administrators and computational scientists now engage with these researchers to support the development of internationally competitive computational modelling and world-class research across all the main disciplines and institutions.

ICHEC both facilitates and participates in many research activities. The active involvement of ICHEC staff in scientific research is particularly important in bridging the gap between increasingly-powerful High-Performance Computing (HPC) facilities and researchers from different communities. We interact with many groups varying in size from individuals to large international collaborations.

User Projects
ICHEC provides computational resources, technical and scientific support to a large number of Irish academic research projects (through the Full National Service and the National Capability Service). The following pages list projects which are currently active on ICHEC-administered systems and those which have been completed.

PRACE Prototype Projects
The PRACE project is a European body that aims to co-ordinate access to the very largest computer systems at a European level. ICHEC is actively involved at the co-investigator level with a number of PRACE projects.

DEISA Extreme Computing Initiative (DECI) Projects
DEISA, the Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Application recently held a call granting access to a number of Europe's leading HPC facilities. ICHEC was happy to assist a number of applicants with their proposals and is pleased to work as a co-investigator with two of the successful projects.

ICHEC is regularly cited in publications due to the support and resources it provides to the Irish academic research community. In some cases the level of ICHEC involvement in the work means that ICHEC staff act as co-authors of publications.

GPGPU Research
GPGPUs (General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit) are set to become an important processing technology in mainstream HPC in the near future, in addition to their traditional role in visualisation work. ICHEC is developing a deep level of experitse in the area to further research in the field and to put in place expertise to assist users as the technology matures.

Weather & Climate Research
In collaboration with Met Éireann, ICHEC provides hardware and support to run climate and weather forecast models. Our computational scientists also take an active part in the ongoing development of the models and conduct related climate/environmental research.

Research Platforms
ICHEC works with various communities to develop tools and platforms that facilitate researchers in the field. The e-INIS project funds a number of ICHEC software developers to carry out such works.

Partner Initiatives
From time to time, ICHEC forms partnerships with other organisations where the associated knowledge tranfer and collaborative activities bring mutual benefits to our researchers in the form of better expertise, support, training, best practices, etc.

Summer Scholarships Projects
The ICHEC Summer Scholarships offers the opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in research projects, supervised by our computational scientists. The type of research carried out is typically designed and led by ICHEC in the field of HPC and/or computational science.

High-Performance Computing (HPC) Systems
ICHEC currently provides the following supercomputers:

Network Connectivity
HPC often involves very large data sets. To avoid a data bottleneck all of the ICHEC systems are connected to the HEAnet national research network, typically at 1Gbit. This facilitates fast data transfer internally between the ICHEC systems, to and from the member institutions networks, and externally to resources on other networks.

Decommissioned Systems
Largely due to the high electrical costs involved in running HPC systems, it is not economic to keep them in production indefinitely even if they are still working reliably. It is cheaper to replace them with new systems with up to date processors etc. in the long term. To date ICHEC has decommissioned 3 HPC platforms, Walton, Hamilton and Lanczos.

Please visit our jobs section for a complete list of current vacancies.